How to Use Androidx27s New Distraction Free Reading Mode Gear GettyImages 1333147244

How to use Android’s new distraction-free reading mode

As also implemented by apps like Instapaper and Pocket, viewing something in reading mode means you only get the key text and graphics. All other parts of a web page, from menus to ads, are carefully hidden.

Android’s Reading Mode can read articles aloud, which makes the feature even more useful. For those who have vision problems or who are dyslexic, for example, the reading mode can make the difference between being able to access the contents and not.

For all of us, catching up on your online reading list is more like it looking at an ebook on your screen. The aesthetics are much easier on your eyes, and you’re able to focus on the text that matters in a story rather than anything else.

How to set reading mode

You don’t need to wait for the update to roll out to your Android device, because you can download the file Reading mode tool directly from the play store for free. However, it doesn’t launch like a normal app and you need to create a shortcut for it.

You will be guided through this simple process when you install the app. After installing it, go to the main Settings panel on Android, then choose Accessibility And Reading mode. turn on the Shortcut for reading mode toggle switch, then tap To allow to give the app permission to further control your device.

By default, a small accessibility button will appear on the side of the screen, which you can tap to launch Reading Mode, no matter which app you’re in. Returning to the reading mode settings screen, you can tap Shortcut for reading mode again to enable boot mode by pressing both volume keys.

You can have the keyboard shortcut or the on-screen button or both, so choose the options you feel most comfortable using. If you touch More options next to the accessibility button checkbox, you can customize how it appears on screen, with settings for the button’s size and transparency.

Reading mode can also be launched from Quick settings – swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to display it. Tap the pen icon and you will see that a Reading mode tile is available, and can be dragged into the Quick Settings panel.

How to get started in Reading Mode

You can launch Reading Mode anytime, anywhere on Android — just tap the Quick Settings button or tile, or use the volume key shortcut. If Reading Mode can’t process what’s on the screen, you’ll see a message saying so.

Reading mode works best when viewing web pages that contain text instead of, for example, games or photos. A new overlay will appear on the display and at the top you will see an estimate of how long it will take you to finish the current article – start scrolling down to read it.

If you don’t like the text and colors, you can change them. Tap the text button (two T’s) in the lower right corner and you’ll be able to quickly increase or decrease the size of the text on the screen. Tap the gear button in the lower left corner to get many more options, covering text size, style, alignment and color.

Tap the play button below the text to read it aloud. The navigation arrows appear: tap them to skip a sentence, or tap and hold them to skip a paragraph. You’ll also see other icons appear, allowing you to change the reading rate (the compose button on the right) and other options such as the reading voice (the gear icon on the left).

When you’re done with reading mode, swipe down on the arrow from the top of the screen and you’re back to regular Android. There aren’t many advanced features, but it’s already a very useful utility to have at your disposal.